City Planning Committee Meets to Discuss Proposed Hotel/Motel Guidelines for City of Trenton

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The City Planning Committee met on Tuesday to redefine the definitions of ‘hotel’ and ‘motel’ that were presented at the last meeting of the Trenton City Council.

Chairman Daniel Case opened the floor to Jay Patel, whose plans to bring a Deerfield Inn & Suites to Trenton in the lot across from Food City spurred the City into revisiting the charter’s rules on these types of buildings. Patel expressed concerns that Trenton’s population was not able to support a hotel of the size presented, based on the current Days Inn occupancy being short of maximum. Case responded to these comments, saying that he had contacted two extended-stay hotels in Lookout Valley that are kept at 90% capacity due to the Southeast Lineman Training Center that is located in Dade County. Both parties agreed that this lost revenue would be good to regain for the City of Trenton.

Chairman Case continued, “we have to have guidelines in place to support our city;” going on to say that he appreciates Mr. Patel’s input as not only a taxpayer, but as someone who is actively investing in Trenton. Case admitted Patel’s concerns at the most recent council meeting are why the Planning Commission called the special meeting to revisit and refine their proposed definitions. However, Case continued, “we want to grow, but we don’t want to be Atlanta,” adding that the decisions made by the committee were not only targeted at the current hotel/motel plans presented, but also any proposed plans for the next 50 years.

The commission ultimately agreed that their definition of ‘motel’ would remain the same as proposed, and that they would move forward with putting laws in place to forbid any new ‘motel’ construction; with the two extant motels being grandfathered in and allowed to stay. However, the committee currently doesn’t agree that ‘hotel’ be allowed to move forward at the given definition, with Vice Chairman Cody Doyle saying that he’d be open to considering the allowance of a one-level hotel, if other conditions were met.

The City Planning Committee adjourned with the intent to meet with Ethan Calhoun from the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission to further discuss the issue.

by Orey Yates